Second Person Singular: A Tale of Love and Betrayal, Honesty and Artifice


Location: Hesburgh Center Auditorium

Novelist Sayed Kashua has been widely praised for his literary eye and deadpan wit. In a humorous, tongue-in-cheek style, he addresses the problems faced by Arabs in Israel, caught between two worlds.

Kashua’s new novel, Second Person Singular, centers on an ambitious lawyer who is considered one of the best Arab criminal attorneys in Jerusalem. He has a thriving practice in the Jewish part of town, a large house, speaks perfect Hebrew, and is in love with his wife and two young children.

One day at a used bookstore, he picks up a copy of Tolstoy’s The Kreutzer Sonata, and inside finds a love letter, in Arabic, in his wife’s handwriting. Consumed with suspicion and jealousy, the lawyer hunts for the book’s previous owner—a man named Yonatan—pulling at the strings that hold all their lives together.

Kashua will talk about his new tale of love and betrayal, honesty and artifice — and question whether it is possible to truly reinvent ourselves.

Kashua’s other novels are Dancing Arabs and Let it Be Morning. He also writes a satirical weekly column in Hebrew for the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz. In 2004, he was awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize in Literature.

Kashua is the writer and creator of the hit Israeli TV show “Arab Labor” (Avoda Aravit), now in its third season. He is also the subject of the documentary “Forever Scared.”

Co-sponsored by the Department of Theology, the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts’ Henkels Lectures, and the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.